Sharing and celebrating each other’s family traditions and cultures is an important part of the curriculum at The International Preschools. Our mission statement expresses that “at The International Preschools, where English language learners are welcomed and supported, children and families from New York City and all over the world share their cultures and gain a sense of international awareness through mutual understanding and respect.” This objective is achieved via a variety of events and activities that occur throughout the school year.
The season of giving is upon us, and it’s never too early to start teaching children about the importance of giving back to your community. Every year, The International Preschools participates in community service projects to help the less fortunate both locally and worldwide. Here are a few of the programs that our school proudly contributes to:
Each year, the faculty, staff, parents, and children of The International Preschools come together to celebrate a special holiday: United Nations Day. More than 50 years ago, The International Preschools was created as a way to assist international families who relocated to the United States. Formerly known as The International Play Group, the school opened locations throughout Manhattan and Queens. Today, we celebrate United Nations Day as a way to commemorate IPS’ inception and to introduce our students and families to the many cultures that make up our school community.
If you’re like me, you’re one of the many parents who are amazed at how quickly toddlers and preschoolers work their way around an iPad or an iPhone. Scrolling and clicking on various apps seem to be second-nature to young children these days. With technology being an ever-prominent aspect of day-to-day life, it’s a wonder that activities such as drawing, building with blocks, and movement or dancing haven’t fallen completely by the wayside.
Unfortunately, a reliance on technology to entertain young children is apparent everywhere you go. I’m always surprised by the amount of toddlers clutching an iPhone instead of playing with a favorite toy or looking at a book while riding in a stroller. In restaurants, it’s not abnormal to see children watching videos on an iPad instead of engaging in conversations with their parents or siblings.
One of the most entertaining everyday occurrences at The International Preschools are the many “sound bites” that children share with their teachers. Children provide unique yet innocent insights and observations about the world around them on a daily basis, from a trip that they will be taking with their families to a gaggle of puppies that they saw frolicking in Central Park. As teachers, parents, caregivers, and friends, we are happy to engage in these little conversations.
Sometimes, with both parents and teachers, these conversations can take on a more serious tone. Topics such as death, divorce, moving to a new house or school, or even the addition of a new baby can bring up worries and questions in young children. And, in the world that we live in today, the addition of terrorist attacks close to home can further exacerbate the internal fears within children.
Toddlers lining up to play on the first days of school!
The children’s book, Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes, tells the story of a child named Wemberly who worries about everything. Her biggest worry of all? The first day of school! Ultimately, Wemberly vows not to worry so much in the future, so that she won’t miss out on the fun.
Like Wemberly, separation anxiety is a natural thing for children (and parents) to feel during the first days of school. Some children transition easily into school right away, saying goodbye to their parents without ever turning back. Others might start on day one, excited and enthusiastic, and return on day two hesitantly and apprehensively; this often occurs when a child realizes that school doesn’t occur just one day a year! And still, other children take days or weeks to warm up to their new school environment. Rest assured, this behavior is to be expected, and the teachers and staff at The International Preschools are ready to help!
Welcome back to school! Here at The International Preschools, the teachers and staff are preparing for the children’s arrival. Our hallways are being decorated with fall-themed photos and art, and the classrooms are filled with play-based centers for the children to explore. Continue reading →